SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's punk scene has been in steady decline over the last few years with many clubs in Seoul closing down, but the phoenix of Korean punk music may be rising from the ashes. Last month, at Club Spot near Hongdae, a university campus neighborhood in western Seoul, the compilation album "Them and Us" was released showcasing 11 local punk bands who aim to give the Korean scene a shakeup.
"Them and Us" features bands from different genres of punk and is the first major Korean punk compilation since the 2002 release of "We are the Punks Korea." Each of the 11 bands on the album plays one original song and one cover version, hence the title.
The brainchild of this new release is Jeff Moses from the band Whatever That Means, which is about to embark on a U.S. tour to spread the gospel of Korean punk to a mostly untapped market.
"First and foremost, we wanted to give local bands a chance to record something new," Moses said. "I'm hoping it will draw attention to the local scene. Since Whatever That Means is going on tour in the U.S. in a couple of months, this is a chance to take this music and give it to people abroad."
Moses is passionate about Korean punk bands and is optimistic about their future despite the recent drop-off of interest in the scene.
"The main reason we are going to the U.S. is to open doors for the Korean scene," he said. "Everything we are doing is so that in the future, Korean punk will be like in the '90s when Japanese punk hit really big in America. We want to help Korean bands do that now."
Burning Hepburns at Club Spot (Courtesy of Graham Osborne)
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